Federal Department Of Citizenship And Immigration Proposing Changes To The Temporary Foreign Worker Program

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The Federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration, looking to further protect temporary foreign workers in Canada, is proposing changes and additional amendments to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Law firms like MyDefence.ca know of the DCI’s efforts, as they’ve been consulting with stakeholders and legal experts for recommendations regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

 The consultation reported that workers don’t complain about improper working conditions due to the fact that they’re afraid of being penalized and deported, that they’re forced to pay large sums in recruitments fees in spite of the fact that they’re prohibited and, on top of all of that, workers also lack access to healthcare.

The DCI is proposing several measures to protect temporary workers, like private health insurance to cover them, as well as expanding the definition of ‘abuse’ to include prohibiting the charging or recovering of recruitment fees and any reprisals against workers.

They’re also proposing giving the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) the power to acquire documents from third parties in order to ensure that employers are properly complying with regulations. As an addendum, the ESDC would also have the power to shorten the time any employer has in order to respond to notices asking for the submission of preliminary findings and any requirements relevant to their Labour Market Impact Assessment.

The Department estimated that the proposed changes would amount to a total of $37,677,828, over 10 years, in costs. The cost for employers would stem from providing health insurance, and providing updated information about worker rights to their employees and the government.

The Canadian federal government has been working on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for a while now, with pressure from the public and NGOs leading to reforms in the program, as well as the International Mobility Program regulations, which came into effect late 2015.

The COVID pandemic resulted in more regulations like compliance inspections implemented, which the proponents report are still part of the legislation.

The regulations for the protection of temporary foreign workers in Canada are well-known to firms like MyDefence.ca, with many saying that their protection is needed, but that the regulations are overreaching and/or becoming cumbersome.

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